Long-Term Sales Tax Increase Vetoed
In Louisiana, consumers face one of the highest combined state and local sales tax rates of 10%+. This is higher than any other state in the country, a record the Louisiana governor hopes to shake loose by vetoing a bill that seeks to permanently extend a 1% sales tax increase. While that increase has brought in an estimated $880 million per year to the state, Governor Edwards asserts that the tax unfairly affects the state's most vulnerable citizens. The issue seems to be one that firmly divides the state government along party lines, with Democrats staunchly in opposition to the regressive sales tax, and Republicans in favor of it. Governor Edwards is seeking to find other areas to raise taxes that do not disproportionately affect the poor and align closely with the state's economic future.
Will Utah's Sales Tax on Food Be A Thing Of The Past?
Last year, Utah lawmakers were seeking to raise sales taxes on food; this year, some are seeking to eliminate it altogether. The bill currently on the table would eliminate the unprepared food tax while raising sales taxes on all other purchases to 4.92%, a .22% increase. This effort would leave the state's income from sales taxes basically unchanged but allow the economically disadvantaged to spend a higher percentage of their income on unprepared food.
Tennessee Turns To Sales Tax Increases To Help Schools
Williamson County, Tennessee has experienced a lot of growth in recent years, leading the county to build new schools for its growing population. Voters approved a .5% sales tax increase for the next three years to help pay for new infrastructure, by about a 2:1 margin. While county officials hope to raise $60 million over the next three years to help pay for improvements, a long-term solution still has not been found. Experts project the county's population to grow by more than 46% over the next decade so adequately funding schools will continue to be a cause for concern.